NEWPORT NEWS - Harriet
Smith Powell passed away from Alzheimer's disease on July
Harriet was born in Alderson, W.Va., on May 22, 1927, the
daughter of Cornelia Alderson and Harry Lee Smith. She was
educated in the Alderson schools and graduated from
Westhampton College at The University of Richmond in 1949.
She then taught at the Junior High School level at schools
in Phoebus, and Richmond, Va. Harriet later attended
graduate school at the University of Virginia, graduating
with a Master's Degree in Guidance Counseling. She was a
Guidance Counselor in Varina High School in Henrico County,
Va., for several years.
It was in Richmond that she met
and married her husband of 52 years, Dr Douglas O. Powell. They
lived in Richmond until the summer of 1960, then spent two years in
the United States Air Force in Rantoul, Ill., after which they
settled in Newport News. They are the parents of three daughters,
Martha Virginia, Julia Coleman and Anne Alderson.
Harriet was most recently a member of The Hidenwood Presbyterian
Church. However, for many years Harriet was an active member of the
First Presbyterian Church in Newport News, serving in leadership
positions in The Women of the Church, as a Deacon, and as Church
Treasurer. She also served as Co-President of the Newport News
Medical Society Auxiliary.
Harriet loved to travel. She and Doug enjoyed many wonderful trips.
Her sense of adventure enabled her to learn to snow ski in her late
forties and the family enjoyed many ski vacations, including those
with the Navigator Ski Club. For many years, Harriet played golf
with the Ladies 9 Hole group at the James River Country Club. She
was also an accomplished seamstress and loved making clothes and
costumes as well as draperies and home furnishings for her family.
There is little doubt that Harriet's favorite activity was bridge.
She grew up in a home where Bridge was a family favorite and often
included cousins and other extended family. Through the years,
Harriet was a member of several local ladies bridge clubs; the last
of which were the Monthly Wednesday and the Monthly Thursday groups.
Both groups were very kind and supportive to Harriet as her health
began to fail. At the age of 52, Harriet was diagnosed with Breast
Cancer, but thanks to excellent local treatment, she was a 30-year
In addition to her husband, Harriet is survived by her three
daughters and their families, Martha and Bryan Krepps, Coleman, Anne
and Powell of Griffin, Ga., Julia and Bill Musto, Charlie and
Alderson of Sterling, V., and Anne Powell of Newport News; her
sister, Florence Smith McCarthy of Huntington, W.Va.; and two
nephews, Tom and Sherry McCarthy of Lakeland, Fla., and Harry and
Laurie McCarthy of Yorktown, Va.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on July 13, 2011, at
Hidenwood Presbyterian Church in Newport News. The family will
receive friends at a reception at the James River Country Club
following the service. A private burial will be held prior to the
Donations can be made to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 60
E. 56th St., 8th Floor, New York, NY 10022; or The Peninsula Rescue
Mission, 3700 Huntington Ave, Newport News, VA 23607.
Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.